Kate Bush - Directors CutOver the past decade numerous artists have delved into the realm of cover albums, yet how frequently does one witness an artist embarking on the captivating journey of covering their own creations? Enter Kate Bush and her latest album, "Director's Cut," a project where she revisits the sonic landscapes of yesteryear, meticulously reimagining songs from her earlier studio albums "The Sensual World" and "The Red Shoes."

In this exploration, Bush unveils her artistic metamorphosis, breathing new life into familiar tunes that had not yet lived up to encapsulate her original vision. The metamorphosis is evident in tracks such as the enchanting transformation of "The Sensual World" into the ethereal "Flower of the Mountain," expanded to weave in a literary tapestry from James Joyce's Ulysses, a creative flourish initially restrained by the familial gatekeepers of Joyce's legacy. Through a meticulous process, Bush reinvigorates the beats and her vocals, describing the initial endeavor as akin to "trying to open a door with the wrong-shaped key." A change in key, however, opens the door to a lower-pitched voice, while other elements stand untouched, birthing a renewed and resonant bass sound that reverberates with a plangent freshness. The result transcends mere technical tweaks, venturing into a realm where artistic alchemy intertwines with the familiar, creating a harmonious blend.

This alchemical endeavor can be deciphered through the lens of Bush's renowned perfectionism in the studio, a trait that has shaped her musical legacy. A labor of love spanning over a decade, "Director's Cut" emerges as an album not laden with new compositions but adorned with a novel presentation. Among the 11 tracks, four echo from the realms of "The Sensual World," while the remaining seven hail from "The Red Shoes." Some songs gracefully undergo mere tweaks, adding a delightful layer of freshness, while others undergo radical transformations, an artistic odyssey guided by the unwavering pursuit of sonic perfection.

Yet, it's always a dicey proposition to rehash earlier artistic works. On "Flower of the Mountain," "Song of Solomon," and "And So Is Love," there are added layers of synth and percussion. Her voice is absent the wails and hiccupy gasps of her youthful incarnation. These have been replaced by somewhat huskier, even more luxuriant and elegant tones and moved up in the mix. Check out "This Woman's Work," where the arrangement of a full band and Michael Nyman's strings are replaced by a sparse, reverbed electric piano which pans between speakers. This skeletal arrangement frames Bush's more prominent vocal which has grown into these lyrics and inhabits them in full. On "Rubber Band Girl," Bush pays homage to the Rolling Stones' opening riff from "Street Fighting Man" in all its glory, it seems it always was there and has now been uncovered. Bush's son Bertie makes an appearance as the voice of the computer (with Auto-Tune) on "Deeper Understanding." The experience of The Director's Cut, encountering new versions of all this familiar material can be occasionally unsettling, but also extremely engaging.

Director's Cut is available in both a deluxe three CD edition which includes Director's Cut, plus remastered versions of The Sensual World and The Red Shoes, or as a single audio CD of the reworked material only.

Released May 16, 2011.


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Audio CD or Vinyl. Also available via streaming platforms.



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 About the Author

Wesley Derbyshire Profile Image

Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.


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